For those of you who regularly read my blog-posts must know by now that I have spent the past 2 years of my student life scuttling between European countries. But now that I have found comfort in my full-time career as an engineer, I plan to revisit countries which I believe deserved more of my time. Greece surely topped this list as I barely spent a couple days in the capital last time. Also I had a pending visit to offer my thanks in person to the Greek Gods for not letting me die of hunger after I fell victim to a pick-pocket during my first visit.
Read https://www.tripoto.com/trip/lost-in-the-orange-groves-of-athens-590f2d5ab3a80 for more details ;)
If you too wish to seek out the abode of the Greek Gods, I hope you find my itinerary useful.
WHAT IS METEORA?
Millions of years ago, 2 Greek rivers met to form a delta in a region of Central Greece. With the passing of time, the materials they transported formed a solid settlement underwater. But with tectonic movements, the sea bed rose to cause soil erosion. This shaped the bed into massive rocky pillars and the rivers too, changed their course. The few locals who inhabited the two villages at the foothills of these massive rocks naturally learnt the art of rock climbing and even passed on their skills to the monks who came by to build monasteries here. So by the end of 6th century, 25 monasteries stood on top of these rocks in an era, when technology was bleak.
Materials were transported with the pulley system. The monks learnt to chisel paths on the face of these rocks. They would fix the wood in the niches and pull themselves up with a rope. The trick was to reach the top and remove their make-shift ladder, so no one else could gain entry into their retreats. With wars being fought and bandits and dacoits looting, the area offered much safety to the monks who merely wished to lead a life of solitude and isolate themselves from human intervention. 'METEORA' in Greek literally means 'suspended in air'. The region got its name from a monk when clouds engulfed the rocks completely on a certain wintry day, exposing only their tops and the monasteries :)
After arriving in Athens, it was a bus ride into the land of monasteries. (It is possible to take the train as well, but there are delays usually).
Athens Airport --x93bus-->liossion bus station (12 eur including return)
liossion bus station-->Trikala
Trikala-->Kalambaka (22 eur)
Kalambaka and Kastraki are the two villages at the foothills of Meteora and it is easy to walk between them. While Kalambaka is a central hub, Kastraki is great for nature lovers. So I booked my stay in Kastraki. After checking in, I left for the 'SUNSET TOUR' by VISIT METEORA (https://www.visitmeteora.travel/). Due to the constraint on time, I wasn't sure of being able to find all the 'viewpoints' myself. So I decided to take tours to the monasteries and learn a little about the history of the place too!